Decluttering challenge, days 12, 13, 14

Oh man, you’d think having four days in a row off work would allow me the time to declutter, take some pictures, and write about it.  You’d think.  I’ve just felt awful though.  Kind of feels like a waste of time off.  I had planned to do so much while I was off and was lucky to make it out of bed by noon.  Oh well…so my decluttering didn’t go quite the way I wanted it to.  Instead of tackling my closet, I pitched out enough magazines to cover days 12 and 13.

Then today I cleaned out the fridge.  You know all of those salad dressing bottles?  The ones you bought thinking they sounded good?  And then they turned out to be not so good?  Yeah, threw out several of those today.  Also a few carrots that I somehow overlooked to the point where they just didn’t look all that appealing any more.  Found some green onions that I had to pitch.  Wish I would have found them sooner, I could have cut the green part off and planted the bulbs and grown some more green onions in my house.  But I didn’t so I couldn’t.

Anyhow, I ended up getting rid of 15 things out of the fridge today, so was able to surpass my goal of 14 items. For the month of January, I’ve now managed to eliminate 127 items from my home.  I have to admit, it is becoming more difficult to find the number of items I need each day.  The refrigerator cleaning made for a pretty quick search today, but now it’s clean.  So tomorrow?  Not sure where I’m going from here.  Plus I have to go back to work tomorrow, so exhaustion and time play into it as well.  What I really need to do is start (or even finish) my search tonight, but I have other things I want to do too…argh!!  Why does life have to be so hard sometimes?  Ha!!  Yeah, because I have it so tough, right?  Whine, whine, whine…

What are you whining about  working on this evening?

Scout on the treadmill, literally on it~

Scout on the treadmill, literally on it~

I think Scout is trying to tell me something…like, “Hey, you need to start using this thing.  If you’re not going to, I will.”

Decluttering challenge, days 10 and 11

Oops…skipped a day, didn’t I?  Well, I did have a few things already pulled out for yesterday with the thought that I’d finish gathering the remaining items when I got home from work.  Then it ended up being a major struggle to make it through the work day…just felt weird (and that’s the official medical term for it) all day.  I told my boss I felt like I was walking sideways, if that clears anything up for anyone.  After work, I stopped at Pet Smart and CVS so I wouldn’t have to get out today.  By the time I made it home, all I wanted to do was soak in a hot tub and climb under the blankets with the kitties.

Scout climbing high

Scout climbing high

Scout didn’t feel like going to bed though.  Her thoughts seemed to be how high can I go? And she managed to climb pretty high without breaking anything.  What a good girl.

I didn’t bother to take pictures of the items I gathered for days 10 and 11.  And I’ll tell you why.  I cleaned out my chest of drawers (found several pair of socks with holes in them.  Why I ever put them back in the drawer, I couldn’t say.  It’s not like I don’t have a ton of socks.  I even have socks I’ve never worn, so why save holey ones?  Also found three bras that I never wear because  they simply don’t fit right.  You gals know what I’m talking about, I’m sure.  Again, not sure why I’d bother to save them…with the thought that they might become more comfortable??? Sheesh.  Also found a pair of pajama pants that are old and worn.  Then there were the two T-shirts that I don’t even like.  Oh, and I can’t forget the teddy that I’ve never worn.)  Combine those items with a couple of magazines and an orange (have I ever mentioned how much I dislike wearing the color orange?) canvas tote and I have my 10 items for yesterday.  I decided to just count all of the socks as one item in order to get rid of more stuff…my goal.

Then, for today, I decided to tackle the vanity in my bedroom (I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my chest of drawers and vanity were refinished by the astronaut, Gus Grissom’s, dad…he was from Mitchell where I lived for many years…and where I hope to move when I finally am able to retire.)  Anyhow, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I’m counting as one item all the little pieces of paper with notes and phone numbers (some with no names…smh…).  I just threw all of them away.  There was also an older phone book, no need for multiples.  Heck, I’m not really sure how much need there is for a phone book at all any more, but I did save one from last year.  I found some post cards with kitties and puppies on them.  Figured Clara would like those.  I also found several notepads that had been mostly used up.  Clara gets those too.  There was a calendar from 2012…I don’t see myself needing to refer to it for any reason…trash.  Health insurance packet from 2005…we have a totally different policy now and get the packets every year when we renew…again, trash.  There were some small notecards with envelopes (some of the envelopes are so old that they’ve sealed closed…haha).  So I thought these would be something Clara could have fun with.  She likes to make cards for her mom and grandfather, so if she can use them she might as well have them.  There were several non-functioning ink pens…pitch ‘em.  I also found several sheets of stickers.  Back in the day, when I actually wrote letters, I would decorate the envelopes with stickers.  Now, not only don’t I decorate envelopes, I don’t even write letters.  So Clara gets all of the stickers too.  There were also some cards that people had sent (or given) me.  I stopped saving cards a long time ago, so I’m not sure how those snuck into the drawer, but they’re history now (I have to admit, I did save wedding and birth announcements from my nieces and nephews, as well as the photo Christmas cards they send me).  And last, but not least…or maybe it is…there was a partially burned, soot-covered plain votive holder.  I’m sure I kept it because, well, you never know when you’re going to need a candle.  But you know what?  I have an entire little storage table filled with jar candles.  I don’t think I’ll even miss this little one.  So there you go.  Now you can see why I didn’t bother taking pictures…just a bunch of junk today.

I ended up with a small bag of trash to go out and a few little things for Clara.  But now my bedroom is almost clutter free.  Well…there is still the closet…yikes!

Not counting all of the items individually from yesterday and today, I’ve now managed to eliminate 87 items from my home in the first 11 days of January.  Who knows what the closet will bring?  But it sure is a good feeling to have the bedroom cleaned up, well…sort of cleaned up.  I should take down the curtains and wash them and the windows.  Isn’t it funny how decluttering makes you want to do some cleaning as well?

 

Decluttering challenge, day 9

Wow!  We’ve finally managed to escape the deep freeze.  It was above 30 degrees yesterday, felt downright balmy.  Of course, they’re calling for some kind of winter mix tonight then lots and lots of rain and temps in the 40s.  Where I was sliding on ice, I’ll now be needing my flippers just to tread flood waters.  But hey!  Spring will be here before you know it.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’ve ever looked forward to spring more than I do right now.

Alrighty then, on to today’s decluttering mission.  I needed to find nine items to remove from my home today (and look at that!  It’s the ninth!  Amazing how that works out, isn’t it?) so I once again opened the closet in my spare room.

A mish mash and more magnolias

A mish mash and more magnolias

I found several more floral bushes (2 gypsophilia and 2 more magnolias) and a pretty white magnolia swag.  I don’t really remember being so fond of magnolias, but there must have been a time when I found them particularly appealing…you know, judging by how many I’m finding hidden away.  The little pink tote is one we did for some kids’ event at work.  Whoever the girl was who was conducting the event made them for those of us working that day.  Mine is pink (of course) with hearts and ballet slippers.  Very cute.  It is.  I like it, a lot.  But it’s a little small for anything practical and it’s just been hanging there in the closet for, oh I don’t know, probably four years.  So Clara is going to get a cute little Clara-sized tote bag one of these days.  There’s also a little St. Patrick’s Day party favor hat that I bought to use for a picture of Spook…

Drunk on green beer?

Drunk on green beer?

Oh my goodness, that poor little kitty…the things I’ve made her do.  Anyhow, I thought Clara might enjoy the hat too.  Spook sure didn’t.

You can’t see it very well, but there’s a little clear hard plastic Christmas tree box that I bought one year when it went clearance.  Still has the clearance sticker on it.  Never been used.  Another item in the Clara pile.  For some reason, this kid loves boxes…thinks every box is a treasure box.  Ah…to be 5 years old again when everything is full of magic.

And then there’s Santa.  I remember buying him at 90% off after Christmas one year.  I even put him out a few years.  But he’s been sitting on a shelf in the closet for several years now.  I’m debating what to do with old St. Nick.  I work with a guy who might like him, so I think I’ll ask him if he wants him.  If he doesn’t, I’ll just drop it off at Goodwill with everything else I’ve got designated for there.

So there you have it, my nine items for today.  This brings the total up to 66 items sent to a better place…a place where they can bring a smile to someone’s face.  And that feels pretty good.

What have you eliminated from your life so far this month?  And how does it make you feel?

 

Decluttering challenge, day 4

It’s hard to believe we’re already four days into the new year, isn’t it?  Do you feel like you’re moving toward the goals you set for yourself?  Is there something in your way?  Usually, the something in my way is me.  I can see that exercise is a good thing for me to do…or that not stopping at a fast food place is the right thing for me…or that not allowing junk to pile up in my house (or my life) is the direction I want to go.  But then I get in my way.  I come up with excuses (you know the ones…I’m too tired after working all day, I have too much other stuff to do, I’ve got to sit down and write a post for my blog…oh wait, that’s the one that is actually keeping me going on this little decluttering challenge.  Yea for the usefulness of blogs!).

I was having a hard time figuring out what to let go of today.  Yes, I know, I had the same problem a couple of days ago.  I hope this isn’t going to be a recurring problem…no, it won’t be!  I’ve got it figured out (fingers crossed).  I think part of the problem is that the blog post is always in the back of my mind.  You know, I want it to be exciting.  I want it to be something that you all will look at and wonder a) why in the world did she ever buy that?, b) what kind of goofball is she that she would keep something like that?, or c) {{{gasp}}} how could she let go of that and will she let me have it?

So I’ve decided I have to do this without a lot of thought as to the pretty pictures.  Just pick a room and quickly find however many things I need for the day to get rid and gather them up.  Period.  Well, then I guess I have to take pictures and figure out something witty and entertaining to write about…but you catch my drift, right?

I decided to open the door to my downstairs coat closet…okay, lots of coats, jackets, sweaters, scarves, a snow shovel and bag of ice melt, and…wait…what’s that???

What is that?

What is that?

Okay, the cat stays…she’s just curious.  But there were two pairs of shoes that I haven’t worn in years, an umbrella that doesn’t work, oh…and the stability ball that sweet little Scout destroyed when she was just a kitten.

part vampire?

part vampire?

So I’d be willing to bet that some of you were asking yourselves why in the world I ever bought those shoes (hey, they were work shoes.  I’ve had problems with my feet for years…had no idea it had anything to do with RA…so I had to settle for comfort over style) and what kind of goofball am I that I didn’t immediately throw out the stability ball that Scout chewed on and destroyed.  To that I have no answer.  I didn’t even realize I’d kept it.  When I moved something in the closet, I thought what is that? So, yeah…you got me there. But now it’s gone…unfortunately to the landfill, but what can I do?  Hopefully she’s over her teething phase (or fanging phase, as it may be) and that won’t happen again.

Once I decided to stop over thinking the process, it became a little easier to find a few things to toss out.  In the process, I did find three things to sell as well, but we’ll talk about that another day.  Lesson for today:  don’t paralyze yourself by over thinking.
 

What a difference a day makes…

…well, make that a day and about 12,000 words.  Yesterday’s post was about me not giving up on my quest to finish my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo before the end of November.  When I viewed my stats, I laughed because it said that, at the rate I was going, I would finish on January 10.  Well, shockingly, after writing over 6000 words today, I’ve moved that finish up to December 13.  I’m actually now at a place where I need to write just over 2000 words a day to finish by the end of November.  Two days was all it took, two days!  Can you believe that?  I was giddy with excitement after finishing writing for the day today.

Sharing her giddiness with me.

Sharing her giddiness with me.

 

 

Post 700…or so

I completely missed it when I posted my 700th blog post the other day.  Today’s post is actually 703.  Wow!  Thanks so much to all of you who have accompanied me on this crazy trip.  It’s been such a pleasure to get to know you, to hear about your lives, to see the pictures you share with us, to have your support, and to share a few laughs along the way.  What a blast this has been.

No, no…don’t look at me like that.  This isn’t the end or anything close to it (I hope.  I guess we never know that for sure, do we?).  I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to let you know how much I appreciate your company.  I’m hoping we’ll be able to continue this journey together for many years to come.

Of course, those of you who are with me daily know I’m going to be a little busy for the month of November (a little thing called NaNoWriMo, in case you somehow missed the excitement), but I’m still going to be checking in every few days.  You know I have to let you know how my writing is progressing, right?  Wish me luck.  Spook and Scout want you to remind me every once in a while to go buy them some more treats.  A kitty’s got to have her treats.

Spook and Scout on their perch...together...

Spook and Scout on their perch…together…

My Final Message

run4joy59:

Be the miracle in a lonely, abandoned, frightened cat’s life…bring that kitty into your home the way the Guardians did with Otis. Give him all the love that he longed for when he was fending for himself out there in the cruel world. Any pet that you rescue will repay you with unconditional love for the rest of his life.
Do what you can with what you have. Share your life with a furry friend. You’ll never regret it.
This is Otis’s good-bye and call to action for all who have followed his journey…a journey that ended much too soon, but that provided him with the miracle of love.

Originally posted on The Blog of Otis:

My Disciples,

If you are reading this, I have departed. Let us first just acknowledge the weight of that. Our journey together was not nearly as long as I hoped it would be, but please know that it has been an honor to have met so many wonderful people, furred and non-furred, and to have shared the trials and triumphs of My life with you.

Otis Honored

It has been an honor.

I know that during My long convalescence many of you were hoping and praying for a miracle to happen that would save My life, and it may seem like that miracle didn’t happen. But I need you to understand something. That miracle did happen. It did happen, and it did save My life, but it happened at the beginning, not the end.

Otis in the wilderness

The miracle happened at the beginning, not the end.

The miracle that saved My life happened seven years…

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It’s a Spooky Halloween

Happy Halloween, everyone.  That’s from all of us here at the zoo…you know, me, Spook, and Scout (or, as she’s affectionately known, the Baby Goat).

Spooky Halloween

Spooky Halloween

 

Spook has a Halloween costume.  She hates it.  And looking at this, you can probably understand why.  Poor kitty forced to wear something so undignified.

 

I’ve never managed to put Scout in any kind of a costume.  She’s much bigger and stronger than Spook and doesn’t hesitate to use her strength to avoid doing anything she doesn’t want to do.  Wearing a costume would be high on that list.  However…

 

part vampire?

part vampire?

 

…like Dracula, she has fangs and isn’t afraid to use them.

Happy Halloween from my little monsters…happy haunting, y’all!

 

Fireworks?

English: 352nd Chikugo river Fireworks Festiva...

English: 352nd Chikugo river Fireworks Festival which is held on 5th, Aug. 2011(Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes I’m not sure what people are thinking…or if they are at all.  Someone has been outside shooting off fireworks this evening.  It’s been really dry around here for the last six weeks or so and one little spark could cause quite the fire.  And, of course, it’s not even legal to be shooting fireworks  here in town anyhow.

Having said all of that, I’ll now tell you the real reason it makes me mad.  I hate it when people shoot off fireworks close to where I live because my poor little kitties get very nervous.  Right now, the kitten is huddled under the desk on my feet.  And Spook has been pacing back and forth growling.  Poor upset little babies!

So come on, people.  Can you possibly limit your fireworks activity to right around the 4th of July?  Okay, I’ll even throw in New Year’s Eve.  But unless you live out of town and there’s no danger of starting a fire, that’s it.

Her name is Claire

The little neighbor girl who typically greets me when I get home from work in the evening is named Claire.  As unpopular as this is to say, I’m going to say it anyhow.  I’m not a huge fan of children.  Oh sure, I love the kids in my family…the ones who are children now and the ones who used to be kids and have moved on into adulthood.  I’ll always love them and want to spend time with them, remember funny things they’ve done or said, look at pictures and ooh and ah over them.

But other kids?  You know, those loud, uncontrolled, little trouble makers?  Yeah, those are the ones I don’t really like to spend a lot of time around.  They make a lot of noise and mess with my things.  And their parents just laugh and talk about how adorable they are.  I’ve come to the conclusion that most parents think everyone else sees their kids the same way they do, as little darling angels, the most intelligent beings ever to walk the face of the earth, more beautiful than any other child ever born.  When, for most of us, that’s not quite how it is.

Then comes Claire quietly sneaking into my life, her little arm wrapped around my porch post, softly asking me what my kitties have been doing all day while I’ve been at work.  When I told her they’d probably been sleeping most of the day, she softly asked, “‘Cause they get tired?”  I had to think about that for a second.  I don’t think Spook and Scout do much of anything to make them get tired, but who knows how a little kid’s mind works?  I finally answered her question, “Yeah, they were probably worn out from watching the birds all day.”  Claire solemnly nodded as if I’d imparted words of wisdom.

Looking up at me through thick lashes, Claire asked the question I’m sure she’d been wanting to ask for days, “Can I pet your kitties?”  Uh oh…my cats aren’t used to children…at all.  I never let them go out into the big, scary world where there are lots of dangerous things just waiting to kill innocent little kitties.  But…there was Claire…wistfully waiting for my answer.  And, before I could stop myself, the words tumbled from my mouth, “Let me see if I can catch one of them…”

Seriously, Patti?  You’re going to let a little girl kidhandle one of your babies?  Apparently so.  I gathered Scout up, thinking she’d be less afraid than Spook would be.  I failed to take into account how big Scout is.  Or that other kids would see Claire petting her and make a beeline to my porch.  That’s when Scout started getting nervous.  I got a nice little scratch on my arm for my efforts, but Claire really enjoyed petting the kitty and commented on her brown eyes.  I finally took Scout back inside and scooped up Spook (against my better judgment).  Imagine my surprise when Spook allowed all of the kids to pet her and fuss over her.

I’ve never seen Claire smile, but she almost did when she was petting Spook.  She kept talking about how green her eyes were and how soft she was.  I know she wanted to take her into her arms, but I didn’t think that was quite the thing to do, not for Spook or for Claire.  And to see that half-smile on Claire’s face made my day.

I guess I have a new little friend.  Her name is Claire.

Spook, my little laundress

Spook, my little laundress

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